Super Eagles and Leicester City attacker Kelechi Iheanacho has spoken with FIFA journalists on the upcoming double-header fixture against Ghana, and his playing career so far.
Iheanacho has been in the Super Eagles set up for the last seven years, while still being in the U-20 set up at the time of his first Super Eagles call-up.
After a fairly successful career as a senior player which has seen him win three domestic titles in England with Leicester City and Manchester City, Kelechi, 25, is hoping for more and believes this Nigerian squad can achieve it.
“Senior Man” as he is fondly called, talked with FIFA about learning from Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero, the Ghana-Nigeria rivalry, and his expectations from the upcoming fixture.
To the question of his experience playing alongside Aguero and Vardy, Iheanacho responded: “They are two legends. It was a really big pleasure to play alongside Kun. He’s a legend and I learnt a lot from him.
“And ‘Vards’ is another legend. He’s one of the best finishers you will see and I’ve learnt a lot from him too.”
The U-17 World Cup winner also talked about the Ghana-Nigeria rivalry, noting that it is bigger than football while stating that he is confident of Nigeria's chances of progression to Qatar.
“It's not just a rivalry – it’s way more than that,” Iheanacho said. “It’s a lot of things. It’s a massive game. It means everything to Nigerians anyway, and this time it’s for a World Cup place.
“I’m 100-per-cent confident that we will go through. Obviously they have a strong team, a strong squad, good players, and they really want to win as well, so it’s not going to be easy.
“It’s going to be a fight. We have to work really hard and want it more than them. But I have so much confidence in this Nigeria team and the group of lads we have here. I’m very confident we will be at the World Cup.”
‘Senior Man' also talked about his experience in the 2018 World Cup. “It was a massive experience and one that everyone dreams of having. The World Cup is the biggest stage in football and every player desperately wants to be there.
“It’s incredible to be there, to play in those games, in those atmospheres, against all the stars. We had a tough group but we managed to put in some good performances. We were a bit unlucky and we didn’t take our chances.
“But it was an amazing experience and you obviously remember playing against someone like Messi. But being at a World Cup makes you want to be at the next one even more. Hopefully we can get past Ghana and take our chances in Qatar.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago